In many parts of the world, low precipitation levels combine with high evapotranspiration rates, to produce an environment characterized by its aridity. Under natural conditions, the ecological elements in such areas are in balance with each other and with the low moisture levels. If these change, there is a wholesale readjustment as the environment attempts to attain balance again. The early inhabitants of these areas also had to respond to the changes, and, as long as their numbers remained small and their way of life nomadic, they coped remarkably well. As human activities became more varied and technologically more sophisticated, as the way of life became more sedentary, and populations increased, the stage was set for problems with aridity. Environmentally appropriate responses to aridity were no longer possible, and the effects of drought were magnified. The failure of crops and the decimation of flocks and herds caused starvation and death. In some areas, the combination of drought and unsuitable agricultural practices created desert-like conditions.

Many of the problems associated with drought, famine and desertification stem from humankind's inability to live within the constraints of an arid environment, and one solution would be to restrict activities in drought-prone regions. Given existing political, cultural and socio-economic realities, such an approach is not feasible in most of the affected areas. Unfortunately, many of the alternative solutions are short-term in their impact—of necessity in many cases—and, in some areas at least, may be setting up even greater difficulties in the years to come. In short, solutions to the problems of drought, famine and desertification are unlikely to be widely available in the foreseeable future, and the images generated throughout sub-Saharan Africa in the last two decades are likely to recur with sickening frequency.

The Basic Survival Guide

The Basic Survival Guide

Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.

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